In a keynote lecture at the opening of the first World Nuclear University (WNU) School on Radioisotopes (RI School) in Seoul recently, Werner Burkart, deputy director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said that the nuclear renaissance is not just about nuclear power.
Some 60 radioisotope (RI) professionals from 30 countries, including several from developing countries, were taking part in this intensive three-week leadership development school.
In his overall outlook for the technology RI, Burkart said that there has been significant growth in this field. The prospects for high-tech technologies, such as positron emission tomography (PET) is currently growing at 20% per year. He added that more traditional RI applications in healthcare and environmental protection would also see steady expansion, notably in the context of a worldwide cancer epidemic.
Meanwhile, in his speech at the opening of RI School, the WNU president John Ritch described the use of radioisotopes for peaceful purposes, especially in the economy development. He said, "The Role of Radioisotopes for our economy largely hidden and often underestimated, but in fact it gives so much value to industry, agriculture and health. One of the objectives of the RI School is to encourage and equip you to become a leader who can help to overcome the lack of public understanding of the role of Radioisotopes for peaceful uses. "
At the RI School participants discuss various issues, including the background of worldwide shortages in the availability of the main isotopes used in 80% of nuclear medicine applications, molybdenum-99 (Mo-99). During the program, they will analyze the causes of these deficiencies, and to find viable solutions in the short-term, medium and long term.